I mentioned on Twitter the week before last that I went to the Mothercare Expectant Parent Event and listened to a talk on car seat safety by the Norfolk Road Safety Team. In short, it was terrifying. There were videos showing dummy babies being flung out of incorrectly fitted car seats at a mere thirty miles per hour (they might as well have just been laid straight on the back seat) and for us, the shock and awe tactics worked!
I was also shocked by how many car seats are actually fitted incorrectly. In Norfolk, around on third of car seats are fitted incorrectly, meaning they would fail in an accident – and the Car Seat Safety Team assure me that these figures are low in comparison with other counties’ findings. Shocking, when you consider that we are talking about the safety of the most precious thing in our lives.
Aside from correct fitting, the main message that the Road Safety Team want to get across is that rear facing car seats are safer by miles (no pun intended!), which is why we’ve opted for a two-way base so that our baby can stay rear-facing for longer. It was really interesting to hear that the general argument/myth that children’s legs will get squashed as they grow if they’re rear facing just doesn’t stand up; especially when you consider the effect an impact has on the neck and spine of a child in forward facing car seat.
Thankfully, the nice road safety man mentioned that someone from the team would come to your house for free to fit or check your car seat if you wanted. Bingo! I was sold. There was no way I’d be trying to do it myself and risk getting it wrong. Why would I when I could get an expert to do it for me?!
I contacted the Road Safety Team on the Friday and the nice man who does the individual visits called me on Monday morning and arranged to pop round the very next day to fit the car seat for me.
We have purchased a Maxi-Cosi iSize 2wayFix Base and a Maxi-Cosi Pebble Plus Car Seat. We’d already decided on an isofix base as we didn’t want the faff of having to deal with seat belts, but having seen the videos I’m pleased that we didn’t choose the seat belt-secured option. The Norfolk Road Safety Team assured us that seat belt secured car seats are just as safe as seats fitted to bases, if they’re fitted correctly. That’s the bit that just makes me a bit too nervous I’m afraid!
Anyway Richard from the Road Safety Team turned up promptly and fitted the seat base and checked the seat fitted well too – he then stayed for a chat and a cuppa, and had left within half an hour. I was really impressed with the service.
I don’t know if this service is offered in other counties, but if you are in Norfolk, then you can contact the Norfolk Car Seat Safety Team via Twitter or their Facebook page to arrange for them to check your car seat, for free, at your home. They are also holding 17 child seat safety events, in partnership with Fire & Rescue, around the county over the school summer holiday period, so do let them check out your car seat if you spot them out and about. Details of these events will also be posted across their social media, so do give them a follow or a like!
Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored in any way. I was simply impressed with the free service the Norfolk Road Safety Team offer and wanted to share.